Scott history

Scott, the story so far (August 2017)

Peter Scott (1747-1808), married Mary Brock (1751-1831) in 1767 he was a farmer at Greenland Farm, Old Kilpatrick, a 2,500 acre farm with bronze age connections on the land. They had twelve children of whom two were male: Peter Scott (1772-1834) and Walter Scott (1786-1858). It was Walter who carried on farming at Greenland while Peter farmed at Overton and married Margaret Scott (1789-1873) in 1813. Peter died in 1834, his widow, Margaret, lived in Bowling in a property called Clydeview until her death forty years later.

Of Peter and Mary’s ten daughters all lived and were married. One of the girls, Janet Scott (1776-1857), married a John Scott (1774-1858) in 1800; he was variously described as a sloop master, a ship master and house proprietor. They lived at Bowling Bay, Dunbartonshire where there were several Scott families, some related. John and Janet had six boys and three girls. Two of the boys died in youth. However,  John (1819-1895) and Walter (1822-1866) were funded by their father to be ship brokers in Glasgow, at least until 1856. By 1861 John is back in Bowling as House Proprietor and Quarry master. The second eldest of the surviving sons, Peter Scott (1816-1859) married his parent’s house servant, Margaret Martin (1829-1865) in 1851. He was described as an Agriculturalist on one census but elsewhere as a farmer and land-owner, until his premature death at age 43. The term “Agriculturalist” is usually used when the person is an improver of agricultural methods; he did not attend Glasgow University for a formal education so I imagine it may have been a self-appointed title. They had three children; Margaret (1851- ?), John (1853-1921) and Jessie (Janet)(1857-1932), Margaret, Peter’s widow, later married the local constable, Thomas Hearst (1829-1895), who lived in the same building as Margaret, and she had two further children by him; Annie Hearst (born 1861) and Robert Hearst (born 1863).

The available evidence suggests that after their mother’s death in 1865 John (aged 12), who was my great grandfather went to live with Hector Martin, his grandfather who was the Land Overseer on the Drums Estate near Bishopton (Hector was employed there for over 50 years). While John’s sister, Jessie or Janet (aged 8) went to live with her Aunt Jane Martin who was then married to Alexander Whyte and living in St John Glasgow, High Church, Glasgow. Jessie then moved back to live with her brother, John Scott, when he moved to Cardross with his wife, Mary Park (see below). Margaret (aged 14 at the time of her mother’s death), John’s sister, despite exhaustive searches, I have lost sight of her at that age she could have gone into service. Thomas Hearst, their step-father moved to St Rollox, Glasgow with his two children and was a Police Sergeant there; he died in 1895.

John Scott with Hector Martin (1803-1876) and his wife, Margaret McLean (1802-?) with his daughter, Annie Scott (1878-1950), dated June 1885.

Janet/Jessie married Archibald Blair, a print cutter from Renton, in 1892 at her brother John’s house in Cardross.

John Scott married Mary Park (1852-1931) in 1877 at Hatton Farm. Mary was one of the daughters of Robert Park and Anne Scott (see Park).

Mary Park (1852-1931) taken before 1877 (year of marriage to John)

While John was living with his grandfather he was employed as a Drysalter’s clerk. After his marriage, he and Mary lived initially at 4 Afton Crescent, Bellahouston, but by 1885 they were living at Maryville on Church Avenue in Cardross where they would bring up nine children.

Maryville and church, Cardross

John’s career was obviously successful as he became a Merchant from at least 1891, until his death in 1921, with William Graham and Company, East India Merchants in Glasgow. On his death they awarded him two months salary of £126. The company is today best known for its port shipping, Graham’s port, which is now owned by Symington the port shipper. This link will provide more information about the company.

John was a Justice of the Peace and a founder member of Cardross Golf Club where the Scott family was clearly successful in golf winning many prizes and appearing in team lists; his name is known in the club to this day. He owned a number of properties in Bowling which he appears to have inherited through his mother (Margaret Martin 1829-1865) and, as far as I can tell, properties previously owned by his uncle, John Scott (1819-1895): see Scotts of Bowling Bay, below. From John’s will, it is clear that within Walter Graham and Company, he was making trades and investments on his own behalf, so a “full blown” East India Merchant.

Cardross golf club 1896. Front row on left, John Innes Scott (1886-1965), Centre, John Scott (1853-1921) captain and on right Willie Hardie Scott (1887-1958).

Scott family [I think in 1890]
BR: Peter Martin, Etta, Willie, John Scott, Annie.
FR: Jack, Bob, Catherine, Mary Scott, Polly.
Catherine was to die a year or so later of measles.

John and Mary’s first-born: Annie (1878-1950) married into the Langlands family and in 1911 lived in Cathcart. This branch of the family included “Jack” John Langlands, whom I recall in name only but was a visitor to our home.

Peter Martin Scott, the second born (1880-1971) would probably have been named after his grandparents: PETER Scott and Margaret MARTIN. He married Margaret Ewing Elder (1885-1973) in 1908 at the Windsor Hotel in Glasgow; at the time he was an assistant Insurance Manager. They had three children: Margaret Blair Elder Scott (1909-1992), Mary Park Scott (1912-1977) and Iain Martin Scott (1913-2002).

Margaret Ewing (Elder) Scott and Peter Martin Scott on their wedding day 8 Sept 1908.

Margaretta Scott (Etta) (1881-1929) married Edgar Smith in 1907. He lived a few doors away in Riversdale, also on Church Avenue in Cardross. One of their daughters, Elizabeth Smith, married Douglas Torrance who became a dentist in Kilmarnock. Our respective families used to visit with our parents and I have photos of us all on the beach at Troon sent to me by Gail Torrance’s husband, Robert Pearson.

Etta McLean Scott marriage to Edgar Lloyd Smith 1907. William R Brash and Mary Jane Scott (sister) were witnesses. Annie Scott is possibly the other bridesmaid. Could be George Langlands, Annie’s son is the page boy?

Mary Jane Scott (1883-1924), of whom I know little, married James Cunningham in 1914.

Robert Park Scott (1884-1933) was a cotton broker and, I suspect later in life, may have lived in India. He married Mary McCulloch in 1914, daughter of a tea merchant.

John Innes Scott (Jack) was born in 1886. When WWI began he and his brother Walter Park Scott joined the H.L.I. as Privates and were sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force after only a few months training. John was commissioned into the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) in August 1915, while fighting in the battle of Cambrai at Fontaine, he took a bullet just behind the centre of the left knee. He spent the rest of the war in recovering from this wound which left him incapacitated. Jean Noble told me he died in 1956.. See

for a copy of a letter he wrote to his father in 1915.

William Hardie Scott (1887-1958) was a dentist and died in Millig Street, Helensburgh, leaving a widow Jenny Louisa Tait (they had married in 1923). The death was reported by his nephew J S Langlands 17 Mansewood Road, Glasgow.

Catherine Janet Scott, born in 1889, died aged two of measles complicated by pneumonia.

Walter Park Scott (1892-1949) married a great golfer, Isabella Wilson, in 1922 in Forfar. Along with his brother, John, he joined the HLI as a private in 1914. He took a commission in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1915 and served as the Brigade Bombing Officer. After serving, he was a cotton broker in Formby. His daughter, Jean Mary Scott (1924-2008) married Frank Noble (1916-2016) and she kept in touch with my parents and latterly with Morag and myself. She died in 2008 and Frank in 2016.  He wrote, in a letter to his brother in India, a fascinating account of his time in trenches in 1915.

Walter Park Scott (1892-1949) in the dress of Argyll and Sutherland Highlander. (First World War)

Returning to Peter Scott and Mary Brock, their other son, Walter Scott (1786-1858), farming at Greenland Farm, Old Kilpatrick, married Janet Donald (1795-1874) in 1819 and they had nine children; one died aged ten. Of the remaining eight, six were girls and four of these married farmers; one married a grocer while the other married a canal boat tracker employing 16 men. The two boys, of Walter and Janet, Peter (1822-1877) and Robert (1829-ABT 1886), followed farming; the latter continuing at Greenland until about 1869 when he moved to Stuckindroin Farm in Arrochar. By 1881 (aged 52) he was an hotel keeper at Creggans Hotel. His first wife (Margaret McIndoe, 1838-1877) died in Arrochar after whom he married (Catherine Sinclair, 1843-?) and after his death, Catherine became an hotel keeper at the Argyll Hotel in Dunoon. One of the original four girls who married farmers was Anne Scott (1821-1899), in 1844 she married Robert Park (1817-1870), see the link to Park below.

Walter Scott of Greenland (1786-1858)

Janet Donald (1795-1874)

Greenland was farmed by three generations of Scotts: first by Peter Scott (1747-1806) from at least 1790, handing over to his son, Walter Scott (1786-1858) who, in turn, handed over to his son Robert Scott (1829-1883) who left the farm in about 1869. Why Robert gave up the farm is not clear although the rent moved from £259:14/- per annum in 1865 to £395:-:- per annum in 1875 with the new tenant farmer. Also, by 1875 the land appears to be broken up into a number of parcels: farm, quarry etc.

Returning to Peter Scott (1772-1834) and Margaret Scott, one of their daughters, Margaret, died in infancy while Jean Scott (1818-1849) married Thomas McGill (1814-1882), ship builder in Bowling who was to form a partnership with James Scott (1830-1903) a nephew of John Scott (1774-1858). James married Charlotte Wood (1827-1917), the daughter of Charles Wood (1790-1847) a naval architect and shipbuilder whose two sons built the Comet.

Scotts of Bowling Bay

John Scott (1774-1858), who married Janet Scott (1776-1857) was one of six boys and four girls born to James Scott and Jean McLaren. At least three of John’s brothers were involved in shipping: Gabriel, a ship owner; James a ship’s captain; Peter, a mariner and Walter I am unsure. He was described as a ship master and house proprietor. His will defines areas of his land on a plan marked number I, number II, number III and number IV drawn up by Thomas Kyle land surveyor in Glasgow. John had four surviving sons at the time of writing the will, probably the numbered areas were intended one for each son. In the event, at the time of John’s death, three sons survived him. Peter Scott (1816-1859) inherited plots Number I and II, while John and Walter consecutively inherited plots numbered III and IV. The land and buildings that Peter Scott inherited passed down to John Scott (1853-1921), my great grandfather, and he held these until his death. The inheritance was described as the Byre, Barn, House and Land. John Scott (1819-1895) (Peter’s brother) inherited a tract of land upon which I am guessing he built dwellings. He also owned a whinstone quarry that is now derelict but in its day, I understand, supplied a lot of stone to pave Glasgow streets. This John, in his will, was anxious for his trustees to preserve the estate to provide an income for his descendants. His children appeared to carve careers away from Bowling and the land and buildings appear to have become the property of John Scott, my great grandfather until his death in 1921. This would then pass to Peter Martin Scott (1880-1971) who inherited his father’s estate apart from some annuities for his siblings.

“Shipbuilding was brought to Bowling by the Port Glasgow shipbuilder William McGill when in 1790 he constructed the 81-ton brig BROTHERS at the canal dry dock. William McGill returned to Bowling in 1800 along with his brother Thomas and rented the dry dock for £25 a year. Thomas McGill’s sons carried on the business until 1846 when the dry dock was removed, the canal basin enlarged and the bay transformed into a safe harbour. The largest of the 44 vessels to be built there was the 250-ton barque BOWLING in 1842. In May 1851 James Scott, then aged 21, along with the McGill brothers, David and Thomas, set up the firm Scott & McGill on ground owned by Scott’s family at the other end of the harbour, adjacent to Frisky Hall. Their first contract was for a new hand operated wooden ferry at Erskine for Lord Blantyre that could take 4 loaded carts. In 1875 wooden hulls gave way first to iron vessels and then all steel by 1894, when the firm became Scott & Sons. Almost 500 vessels later, the shipyard closed in 1979, and the site cleared some years later.”

I think it more likely that it was William’s two sons William (1778-1817) and Thomas (1771-1829) who continued to build ships and this was perpetuated by Thomas’ two sons David (1804-1883) and Thomas (1814-1882) this Thomas married Jean Scott (1818-1849) daughter of and, as referred to above, they joined with James Scott (1830-1903) (see the Scott tree chart) to form the business of Scott & McGill.

Many of the branches of the Scott tree were involved in shipping in one form or another through many generations.

According to the websites Clydebuilt Ships and the Scotts of Bowling between 1803 and 1847 38 vessels were built and under the name of Scott & McGill and then Scott & Co operating 1851-1979, in excess of 450 vessels were built.

In 1965 the company was taken over by Scott’s Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd of Greenock. It subsequently became part of the Scott Lithgow Group following the 1970 merger of Scott’s Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd and Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow. Work at the Yard ended in 1979.

Canmore images of Bowling harbour.

Note 1

Greenland farm was a very large farm at 2500 acres but given the topography, it may have been hill moorland and poor farmland. The area appears to be well recorded for its Neolithic or Bronze age “cup and ring” markings.

“.. to record as a rescue project the ‘cup-and-ring’ carved rock near Greenland Farm, Milton, Dunbartonshire (NGR NS/434746: lat. 55°6’21″N, long. 4°30’26″W). There are two adjacent carved rock outcrops just below the farm, on Auchentorlie estate, and for many years they were in an undisturbed and peaceful rural setting even though only 10 miles west of the centre of Glasgow (Morris & Bailey 1967, p. 160, nos. 29 & 30). The purchase of the estate by William Thompson Ltd. of Dumbarton during the 1970’s resulted in the opening of a new quarry immediately next to the site…”. The quarry is still being operated by William Thompson Ltd.


Park : the story so far